How to choose a flex heater for your applications?

Nowadays, locating heating is the key performance for electronic applications, in order to achieve this, manufacturers use various types of flexible heating elements. These heating elements are made of different materials and can be fully customized by different specifications. Polyimide, silicon, mica, and butyl are the most popular materials that are commonly used. With so many variations, the selection is very difficult and choosing the right heater is particularly important during the R&D period. This post introduces the common heaters and covers some tips on the selection of flexible heaters for your applications.

In the current market, the common heating heaters are:
  • Polyimide flexible heater
  • Silicon flexible heater
  • Transparent PET heater

Polyimide flexible heater

Polyimide flexible heater (short for PI flexible heater), its conductor is made of copper or 304 stainless steel, copper foil conductor is similar to our commonly used FPC, conductor copper foil 304 stainless steel is sandwiched between two layers of polyimide film using FEP adhesive or acrylic adhesive, this heater is very thin, it can reach 0.1mm thickness, And the temperature can reach -40℃-200℃ (long-term use below 150℃) 

Due to their thin and light capability, polyimide flexible heaters are suitable for applications where additional weight problems may occur in working equipment, or equipment with minimal available space; It has excellent heat transfer performance and is usually used in harsh environment applications where durability is required. They exist in the aerospace, food service, military, and medical industries. The Polyimide PI flexible heater can also be used indoors and outdoors.

Silicone Rubber flexible heater

Silicone Rubber flexible heater is two layers of Silicone Rubber insulation layer sandwiched with a layer of heating conductor, it will be heating after electricity, the required temperature can be adjusted according to the resistance value of the heating conductor, it’s thicker than PI but more resistant to temperature and more buffering. Its thickness can reach 1mm-3mm, temperature can reach -40℃ - 280℃ (long-term use below 250℃).

Silicone Rubber flexible heaters are suitable for applications where large heaters provide multiple watt densities and can handle higher temperatures in humid and outdoor environments, with long-term operating temperatures up to 100 °C higher than polyimide flexible heater (It is better to show the product before and after heating of oil drums or other liquid products, and the temperature comparison).

Transparent flexible heater

Transparent flexible heaters also known as PET heaters, they are customized for applications that require a lower heating transfer, and their transparent properties are suitable for visual equipment to remove moisture or ice on the product surface. such as de-icing mirrors, heating batteries, restaurants that keep food ingredients at the desired temperature, heating fish tanks, and heating cups inside coffee machines.

The application scenarios of heating sheets may vary according to their operation, size, surface structure, and environmental conditions. When trying to select the right flexible heater, we need to fully evaluate the functionality of the device at the design stage, or review it when using the existing device, then they will be able to match the appropriate heater according to the specific requirements, the following application scenario categories are for reference:

PI flexible heater
Silicone rubber heater
PET flexible heater
Working in low temperature

Working in high temperature

Even heating

Better conductor heating

Working in outdoors and humid environment

light and flexible heater

Big and smooth surface

Bending& irregular surface

Beautiful appearance

Chemical resistance

The most cost effective

Knowing the differences between different types of materials and heater designs can help, but sourcing them from a trusted manufacturer is just as important. Best Technology mainly provides polyimide (PI), silicone rubber, and transparent screen PET flexible heaters, our professional engineering team can recommend most suitable heaters for you according to your requirements. Our customers mainly come from the medical industry and the intelligent electronics industry. We provide customers with efficient services and stable quality, so that our customers' products are able to take up more market share. Freely to contact us if you have inquiries.